Cross-posted from

I signed up for a standup comedy class because I thought it would be fun and something to write about. After two classes I discovered another important lesson (besides going for the things we want to do in life): it’s okay to quit.

I’m not a performer. Or, rather, I perform in isolation, at a keyboard. I’ve been a writer since childhood and continue to experience writing as a passion. But to get up and “do what I do” in front of people has always been a bit paralyzing. And while I was having a lot of fun coming up with a standup comedy routine, I was finding my Wednesdays filled with dread instead of pleasure at the thought of class that night.

It also gave me the opportunity to look at how much I operate based on what I assume to be other people’s expectations of me. I was about to keep going because I thought the friends I’d invited to the graduation show would be disappointed if I told them I’d dropped out of class. It dredged up a lot of very old, very deep issues about being a disappointment, or assuming I was viewed that way, or, worst of all, viewing myself that way.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with trying something, realizing it’s not right for you, and walking cleanly away. I took this class, as mentioned, in large part so I could write about it for this site and encourage others to go out and do things they wanted to try. And now, with this particular stress out of my life, I can say it’s fine to taste-test and, if the taste it not so sweet, move on. Yes, I’m a standup comedy class dropout. But I did it, I tried it, and now it’s on to something else.

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